Mailbag: Viewpoint for Cut-Scenes

I’m working on a Twine game with a similar storytelling style to the 1995 Lucasarts game Full Throttle. 

I noticed a storytelling element within the game, and I was wondering what type of story/narration the game could be considered to have. 

The game opens with the protagonist, Ben, saying a few lines that set the scene and set up the story. It almost sounds as if he’s telling the player a story. 

But then, the cutscenes involve events that Ben is not present for and may not logically know about. Examples, which involve spoilers, are: All events while Ben is passed out in a dumpster in the game opening, a lot of the hovercraft police officers dialogue, the murder of Malcolm Corley, Ripburger’s henchmen chasing down the reporter who photographed the murder and attempting to murder Maureen, and a few more, further into the story, that I’m missing. 

But the game also has the live element that comes with being a game, and it involves Ben’s narration and comments based on the action menu, as well as through conversations. 

I’ve been trying to figure out how this storytelling style would work within a text-only game. It seems like it could be a type of frame story? Many important details would be missed if the perspective stuck solely to Ben, as it’s also, in a way, the story of the other major characters in the story. 

I know I can’t perfectly translate it because while they have similar natures, they’re also significantly different styles of games. But I also feel that to capture the feel of FT, I should employ a similar writing style, which to me seems like a sort of framed, first person semi-omniscient type of thing. 

If you have any advice, I’d love to know!

This question feels like it’s asking several things at once:

  • Terminology. What do we call the viewpoint of a game that sometimes shows you things that the player character is not present to see, especially in the case that the player character is otherwise the narrator?
  • Canon. Are there other text-based games that do anything like this? How do they handle it?
  • Craft. How would one introduce these scenes in a way that feels natural, considering they don’t include the protagonist?

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